New Delhi, 1st March, 2017: Last Sunday, I went to cover Chanda Bandh Satyagraha being held at Rajiv Chowk.
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Chanda Bandh Satyagraha alias as no list, no donation, articulates about the financial transparency of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) fading into oblivion.
The objective of the protest is to restore the principles and fundamentals, particularly financial transparency on which the edifice of AAP was erected.
Dr. Munish Kumar Raizada is the frontman of this protest. He is former convener of Non-Resident Indian Wing of AAP. He has also served as Honorary advisor to Delhi Health Minister Satayendra Jain and earlier also carried out responisbilities in various party positions.
Why the Satyahraha?
Our country consists of 1800 parties, post Anti-Corruption Bill movement, AAP was established and assured to change the political culture of our country.
It was launched because of self-proclaimed ‘Clean Money’ principle. AAP’s public funded party core principle was subjected to lay a firm foundation of corrupt-free political sphere of our country.
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AAP enunciated on commencing this journey with an absolute financial transparency. AAP pledged to provide the details of each penny donated to it by the public.
AAP has infringed its own principle by removing the donation lists from its website since 9 months. It has caused distrust among its stakeholders, donors, patrons and supporters.
Corruption free India is not a mere demand but an insistence. An insistence to stick with what one dreamed of corruption free India. Nevertheless, the pedestal is led with honest accounting and transparent funding.
In one interview of Aaj Tak’s Ankit Tyagi with Party’s supremo and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal that was aired on Nov 7th, 2016, when asked about the removal of lists of donations from AAP’s website, Arvind Kejriwal dodged it with “Central government had started raiding our donors, thus, we cannot show our donations”. Dr. Raizada has put forth four specific requests to AAP for restoring the principles. They are as following:
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- The AAP website must put back details of all the donations (starting with Rupee 1 and above) at our website since inception of the party. This should be done ASAP and the donation list should be up-to-date.
- To respect the principle of transparency and accountability, donations on AAP website must be searchable by name (example: If I search for Anil Kumar, all donations by all donors by this name must appear). The earlier practice of finding donation by receipt number makes the things cumbersome for the donors and public.
- Annual Balance Sheets of AAP’s income and expenses are missing from its website after March 31, 2014. They must be put in public domain ASAP.
- The real details of 2 Crores (4 checks of Rs. 50 Lakh each) donated to be the party in April of 2014 (deposited in the AAP account in July 2014) are still missing. You had stated in an interview on February 2, 2015 with Barkha Dutt of NDTV that you would be the first person to order an inquiry into these dubious donations if we come to power. You are in power now and the public deserves the real answers.
The banner had been put up by 3 pm on which people were required to sign and pamphlets were being distributed to the keen individuals and Mr. Shukla spoke and informed to people about the protest.
After people signing on the banner, I probed people about their residential locality’s condition.
I asked them if they saw any changes, be it good for bad. Of all the people, I probed; they were distraught with AAP not fulfilling the promises it made.
One gentleman, I probed, Mr. Ashok Gupta, a resident of Chandni Chowk spoke about insouciance and lackadaisical attitude of their locality’s elected MLA Alka Lamba, saying, “She has not done anything, she hasn’t done anything about cleanliness.” Mr. Gupta said that Chandni Chowk’s Resident Welfare Association had donated between Rs. 25,000 and Rs. 30,000. Another resident from Chandni Chowk, Mr. Surendra Sharma, spoke about the incomplete ornamentation of Chandni Chowk’s main road.
People were enraged and spoke to these AAP workers and now ‘Satyahrahis’ about the ‘unrealistic’ and ‘unfulfilled’ promises of AAP and espoused Chanda Bandh protest.
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– prepared by Sabhyata Badhwar of NewsGram. Twitter: @SabbyDarkhorse